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Unified Medical Language System® (UMLS®)

MSH (MeSH) Source Information

Click on a topic below the Source Synopsis section to display details.

Source Synopsis

Web site:
//www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/meshhome.html

Authority
The Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®) are developed and maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Purpose
The MeSH thesaurus is a controlled vocabulary used for indexing, cataloging, and searching for biomedical and health-related information and documents. It enables retrieval systems, such as PubMed, to provide subject searching of data.

Description
MeSH consists of sets of terms naming descriptors in a hierarchical structure that permits searching at various levels of specificity.

The three basic types of MeSH records are Descriptors, Qualifiers (subheadings), and Supplementary Concept Records.

MeSH has over 27,000 Descriptors; 83 topical Qualifiers; more than 232,000 Supplementary Concept Records; and over 87,000 entry terms.

MeSH is continually updated by NLM health science subject specialists. New terms from scientific literature and research can be recommended for addition to MeSH.

RxNorm Scope
RxNorm contains only the English translation of MeSH.

Audience
The MeSH vocabulary is designed for use by NLM for indexing and searching the MEDLINE database of journal citations and cataloging the NLM collection.

MeSH is used by indexers, subject catalogers, online searchers, and in retrieval systems.

Update Frequency
A revised MeSH vocabulary is released annually; Descriptors and Qualifiers are updated annually while Supplementary Concept Records are updated continuously.

RxNorm Update Frequency
MeSH is updated twice a year in the May and November RxNorm monthly releases which coincide with the bi-annual Metathesaurus releases.

Sites Consulted

  1. Medical Subject Headings [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 1999 September 01 [reviewed 2011 Oct 28; updated 2011 Oct 28]. Preface; 2008 Oct 07 [updated 2007 Oct 08; cited 2012 May 15]. Available from: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/intro_preface.html#pref_rem; MeSH record types: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/intro_record_types.html; Use of MeSH in online retrieval: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/intro_retrieval.html

Metadata

Field Value
Short NameMeSH
FamilyMSH
Source Restriction Level0
LanguageENG
License ContactNational Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda
MD
United States
20894
(888) FIND-NLM
https://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh
Content ContactNational Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda
MD
United States
20894
(888) FIND-NLM
https://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh

Source Representation (currently unavailable)

RxNorm Representation (currently unavailable)

Data Examples with MySQL Queries

This section lists source terminology specific data examples and the MySQL queries used to obtain the data. For more information about RxNorm data and files, see the RxNorm Technical Documentation.

Names and Codes in RXNCONSO.RRF

Here are sample source terminology code, source string, RxNorm Concept Unique Identifier (RXCUI), RxNorm string, term type (TTY), and suppress values.

SOURCE_CODE SOURCE_STR RXCUI RXNORM_STR RXNORM_TTY SUPPRESS
D007052 Ibuprofen 5640 Ibuprofen IN N
D007052 alpha-Methyl-4-(2-methylpropyl)benzeneacetic Acid 5640 Ibuprofen IN N
D007052 Benzeneacetic acid, alpha-methyl-4-(2-methylpropyl)- 5640 Ibuprofen IN N
D007052 ibuprofen 200 mg ORAL TABLET 310965 Ibuprofen, Sodium Salt PIN N

Here is the MySQL query to retrieve the data above:

SELECT distinct rc1.code as source_code, rc1.str as source_str, rc1.rxcui, rc2.str as rxnorm_str, rc2.tty as rxnorm_tty , rc2.suppress
FROM rxnconso rc1, rxnconso rc2
WHERE rc1.code = 'D007052'
     AND rc1.sab = 'MSH'
     AND rc1.rxcui = rc2.rxcui
     AND rc2.sab = 'RXNORM'
     AND rc2.tty in ('IN','PIN','MIN');

Names and Relationships in RXNCONSO.RRF and RXNREL.RRF

Here are sample source terminology code, source string, RXCUI, relationship name, RxNorm term type (TTY), RxNorm brand name, and suppress values.

SOURCE_CODE SOURCE_STR RXCUI RELA RXNORM_TTY RXNORM_BN SUPPRESS
D007052 Ibuprofen 5640 has_tradename BN Advil N
D007052 Ibuprofen 5640 has_tradename BN Wal-Profen Cold and Sinus N
D007052 Benzeneacetic acid, alpha-methyl-4-(2-methylpropyl)- 5640 has_tradename BN Motrin N
D007052 Benzeneacetic acid, alpha-methyl-4-(2-methylpropyl)- 5640 has_tradename BN Advil PM N

Here is the MySQL query to retrieve the data above:

SELECT distinct rc1.code as source_code, rc1.str as source_str, rc1.rxcui, rr.rela, rc2.tty as rxnorm_tty, rc2.str as rxnorm_bn, rc2.suppress
FROM rxnconso rc1, rxnrel rr, rxnconso rc2
WHERE rc1.code = 'D007052'
     AND rc1.sab = 'MSH'
     AND rc1.rxcui = rr.rxcui2
     AND rr.rela = 'has_tradename'
     AND rr.rxcui1 = rc2.rxcui
     AND rc2.sab = 'RXNORM'
     AND rc2.tty = 'BN'
     ORDER BY suppress;

Last Reviewed: June 10, 2019